Guru Nanak Dev was the first Guru of the Sikhs. He lived from 1469 to 1539. He was the founder of Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev was born into a simple Hindu family on Kartik Purnima at Talwandi, village in Seikhupura district, 65 km. west of Lahore.
He founded a religion that was meant to cut out empty ritualism and distinctions of birth. Making several extensive tours around India and as far as Baghdad, Sri Lanka and Tibet, to spread his world view, Guru Nanak eventually retired to work as a farmer in the village of Kartarpur.
His teachings about God are summed up in ‘Mul Mantra’. In Sri Lanka Guru Nanak is remembered as ‘Sidh Nath’ and ‘Ulag Guru’. He was a saint for both the Hindus and the Muslims alike.
When he felt that his end was near, he appointed Bhai Lehna as his successor with the title of Guru Angad. He died on September 22, 1539 in the early hours of morning.
He was neither cremated nor buried. His constant companions were Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala both Muslims. He gave the symbol ‘Ek Onkar’.